Sena reigns supreme in Konkan, Rane’s designs come a cropper

Showdown between allies goes Sena’s way

Updated - October 25, 2019 01:47 am IST

Published - October 25, 2019 01:45 am IST - Pune

BJP’s Nitesh Rane celebrates his victory in Kankavli on Thursday.

BJP’s Nitesh Rane celebrates his victory in Kankavli on Thursday.

While the 14 Assembly segments in the three districts of the Konkan region saw a fractious electoral battle between the Shiv Sena and Konkan strongman Narayan Rane of the BJP, the former effortlessly retained its strongholds, winning nine of these segments.

Despite Mr. Rane, a former chief minister and Shiv Sainik, doing his best to checkmate the Sena in the Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg belt by propping his own candidates, the BJP could win only two seats.

The most notable of these was in Kankavli in Sindhudurg, where the BJP had fielded Mr. Rane’s son, Nitesh. Irked by this move, the Sena had fielded its own nominee, Satish Sawant. Nitesh Rane, however, trounced Mr. Sawant by 28,116 votes despite Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and other party leaders campaigning hard for the latter.

However, the Sena foiled Mr. Rane’s designs on the other seats, as State Home Minister Deepak Kesarkar beat Independent candidate Rajan Teli, a close Rane aide, by 13,228 votes in Sawantwadi. Mr. Rane’s bête noire , the Sena’s Vaibhav Naik, retained the Kudal seat by defeating another Rane-backed Independent, Ranjit Desai, by 14,349 votes.

In Rajapur, the Sena’s Rajan Salvi beat the Congress’s Avinash Lad, while in Ratnagiri, the Sena’s incumbent MLA Uday Samant won handsomely. NCP turncoat Bhaskar Jadhav, a new Sena entrant, won from the Guhagar segment. Mr. Thackeray’s party won the Dapoli, Mahad and Alibaug seats, while the NCP scored a notable success with Aditi Tatkare, the daughter of former minister Sunil Tatkare, winning the Shrivardhan seat by 39,621 votes.

After Mr. Rane’s entry into the BJP earlier this month, Mr. Thackeray had warned his ally this would prove to be “a bitter experience”.

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